12/11/2012 3:33:00 PM Leavenworth area wineries embrace Bavarian theme
Submitted by Joanne D. and Alex Saliby
Looking for a special place to make your holiday season brighter? Each year, downtown Leavenworth sparkles with Christmas cheer and streets crowded with visitors, many who come to sample local wines. If you want something out of the ordinary this year, visit the wineries surrounding downtown.
Since 2000 and the introduction of the area's first wineries, something else has proven to be a drawing card: the wineries. In 2000, there were four local wineries and one Prosser winery in the area. Today, there are 21 wineries in the immediate area, and if you include Cashmere, nine miles east of Leavenworth, that number grows to 25 wineries and one distillery.
In this, our first of a series of articles highlighting the area's wineries, we intend to make you better acquainted with these wineries and their owners and winemakers so that you will take the time to visit the wineries, meet the people, and enjoy the quality products they offer. We'll begin by introducing you to the facilities without tasting rooms in town.
Silvara Vineyards, opened in 2009 by Gary Seidler and Cindy Rarick, has lost no time in becoming a favorite wine stop for those seeking more than just tasting wine. The winery crowns the crest of a hillside a short drive east of downtown Leavenworth at 77 Stage Rd. The lofty beamed structure offers comfortable leather sofas for relaxing while enjoying the crackling fires from two stone fireplaces. Tall windows display a view of snow-covered hills and the broad valley below. Tables and chairs provide a place to enjoy cheeses and other snacks while tasting wine.
Recently we stopped in at Silvara to visit Gary and Cindy and catch up on upcoming activities. We found them in the midst of tinsel, trees and lights.
"Gary, Cindy, this place is marvelous without these decorations, but you've gone the extra mile here and turned the tasting room into a veritable Winter Wonderland. Care to share the why with us?"
Cindy told us that they had always enjoyed decorating for the holidays, and Christmas was their favorite season for this. Gary added that they tried to create a special place for people to come and enjoy a glass of their award-winning wines. Because of the season he has adjusted the hours of operation." They plan to remain open Fridays and Saturdays till 8 p.m. to accommodate those who want to have a place to go and relax after a busy day of outdoor activity, shopping or working.
So, follow the gleam of colorful glittering lights to the top of the hill, where frosty snowmen, wreaths and holiday-decorated trees, giant snowflakes and special treats welcome visitors in December. It is truly a Winter Wonderland.
We endorse Silvara Vineyards wines wholeheartedly. The variety of three white wines and six red is sufficient to please even the most particular palate, and the friendly staff is always welcoming.
Cindy and Gary have taken the town of Leavenworth to heart by joining in fund-raising activities for the benefit of the local hospital foundation, and for MEND and the Community Cupboard. This season they will donate $20. from each case of wine sold in December to MEND and $20 to the American Red Cross,. In addition, Silvara will donate 10 percent of all other December retail sales to the Leavenworth Community Cupboard.